Unlike Forrest Gump’s mother, I think life is like a bag of jellybeans. You know, there are sweet ones, sour ones, tart ones, and some that are downright nasty. Luckily, you can usually pick and choose what you want. Much like a jellybean bag, my brain is an overflowing mishmash of thoughts these days so a data-dump might be in order. Should I pick a nasty memory and get it out of the way? Or would a sweetly tart choice be more therapeutic? Sit back and watch a maniac dive headfirst into her bag of beans. Hey, I never said metaphors were my forte, but they are certainly fun.
Today I choose sweetly tart. It is next to impossible to identify what makes me tick. I have always claimed that I can see all facets of a prism at the same time. Because of that all-encompassing talent, I am seldom shocked, startled, caught off-guard, or surprised. I certainly did not intentionally build or develop this artistic flair. It is simply a God-given gift. Still, however, I have had moments that truly defined the term “gotcha.”
Imagine a “hopelessly smitten like a schoolgirl” grown woman about to enjoy her first birthday celebration with her dream date of the past nine months. All decked out for a romantic evening at a four-star eatery, we were escorted to a quiet window table with a stunning view. Even before our server could begin his introductory routine, my guy pulled an exquisitely wrapped small package out of his pocket and placed it on the table near him without saying a word. Since he did not immediately offer it to me, I smiled innocently and waited for its formal presentation. I could not deny, however, that the appearance of this gift was so recognizable that I was flush with excitement. This was a bracelet box from a noted jewelry store. No doubt. Guaranteed. Sure thing. Be still my heart.
The waiter arrived and began his poetic recitation of the chef’s specials and took our wine order. He eyed the gift and grinned at me like a Cheshire cat. His wink made me blush. My date started a random conversation about the events of the day and other mindless tidbits knowing full well I was bursting at the seams while the wine steward uncorked our bottle of choice. We placed our dinner orders, shared more smiles, and gazed off into the romantic night sky. It was our best date yet.
Once we finished our salads, the waiter collected our plates, and without pause blurted, “Oh for pity’s sake, will someone open this gorgeous box already! I can’t wait any longer.” The entire restaurant heard him and gazed in our direction. Donning a sweetly mischievous smile, my date pushed it my way. I do not think I ever felt more loved than at that very moment. And yes, once the wrapping was gone, it was indeed a pricey jewelry box. My thoughts were racing. Was it a diamond tennis bracelet? A gold necklace? Perhaps a classic watch?
I ever so gently removed the lid and there it was - an anal thermometer. The waiter laughed so hard I thought he was going to crack a rib while the entire restaurant giggled under breath. I knew my man had a wicked sense of humor, but for the first time, he got me. It was brilliant. It was classic humor from a person who worked in pharmaceuticals. My prism vision failed. I did receive a beautiful pair of pearl earrings from that same jewelry store later that evening. And the story of how he persuaded the jewelry associate to wrap his special gift was equally amusing. In jellybean language, this was sweet, sour, and tart all at the same time. It was priceless.
So even maniacs and strange little creatures like me have endearing moments that keep us grounded. It is a good thing I have a somewhat warped sense of humor and a die-hard love of good wine, or he might have been wearing an expensive Cabernet during dinner. The prize that night was not jewelry. It was an unforgettable memory. Oh, and for the record, my diamond bracelet arrived the following birthday.
My message this week is that life can be so much fun when you learn to laugh at yourself with others. Life delivers so many disappointments all by itself that learning to roll with the punches makes you happier, more vibrant, and less likely to go to jail for aggravated assault. Just ignore the nasty jellybeans. Keep looking for the good ones. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.